With winter in full swing, it’s important to remember your dog’s safety when you go out together in the cold and snow. Many dogs need to wear a coat during extreme cold temperatures, even on a short walk, and even if the dog in question has a long coat.
By paying attention to your dog’s needs during the winter months in Marinette, WI, you can keep them healthier, safer, and happier during her time outdoors. Read through the list below to find out more about the most important qualities to look for in your dog’s winter coat.
What to Look For
Leg Straps or Leg Holes
First, you’ll need to choose between a coat with leg straps or one with leg holes. Leg holes can make it easier for your dog to stay warmer, but leg straps make it easier for her to be extra mobile and active. If they’re very young or runs a lot, you may want to stick with the leg straps.
Consider, too, your ability to put the coat on your dog. If it has leg holes and your dog is very wiggly, they may not stand still long enough for you to dress them.
Dog winter coats have many different types of closures you can choose from. Very high-end options have zippers, which can provide a lot of security and warmth but can be difficult to put on and take off of a dog. Many coats have Velcro closures instead, which are much easier to work with but which wear out over time.
A good middle ground option is a coat with clips or buckles. These function much like a breakaway collar, giving you the flexibility to dress your dog quickly and the durability to keep the coat in place throughout the day.
Although there are plenty of options to choose from that don’t have any reflective material, it’s a good idea to choose a coat for your dog that has at least some reflective stripes on the side or back. This way, if you’re walking your dog at night or in the very early morning, drivers will be able to notice both of you.
Reflective areas may make a coat look less aesthetically pleasing, but they also make coats safer. If you absolutely do not want reflective material on your dog’s coat, choose a reflective collar and leash set instead.
Many winter coats for dogs are soft and comfortable on the inside and outside, but they aren’t very waterproof. Since it rains, snows, and sleets so much in the winter, it’s a good idea to choose a waterproof coat for your pet.
Waterproof fabric on the exterior of the coat helps keep your dog warmer when it’s raining or snowing outside. Since this type of fabric can keep your dog protected and dry, it reduces the risk of chill from wet fur and skin being exposed to cold temperatures and breezes.
The coat you choose for your dog should fit properly. It should be snug enough that cold air doesn’t find its way inside, but it should still be loose enough that it is comfortable for your dog to walk, breathe, and swallow while wearing it. Finding the right balance between these two fits can take a while, so choosing an adjustable coat is a good idea for a beginner.
Winter coats are designed to fit dogs around the neck. They may have leg holes which fit around the legs, or they may have straps that secure them in place on the dog’s body instead. Either way, all of these areas should be snug but comfortable.
Plenty of Coverage
Finally, make sure the coat you pick for your dog offers enough coverage for your pet’s body. The coat should cover your dog’s back, chest, and stomach, and may cover part of the upper leg as well, depending on the style you go with.
The coat should leave enough room for your dog to go potty easily without getting any mess on the coat itself. This need may vary depending on whether your dog is male or female, so think about your dog’s potty needs when choosing the design of the coat.
Need More Advice? Reach Out to our Marinette, WI, Animal Hospital
As you can see, it’s not too difficult to find a winter coat for your dog that can meet or exceed all her needs. It is necessary, though, to think about the different coat options out there and choose one that has all the qualities you’re looking for.
When buying a winter coat for your dog, it’s also a good idea to prioritize quality. There are a lot of low-cost options on the market, but many of them are also low-quality, so take your time shopping around to find the best choice for your dog’s comfort and safety.
If you have any questions about picking out the best winter coat for your dog, reach out to our animal hospital in Marinette, WI, by giving us a call at (715) 735-9511.